In an attempt to boost employment locally and nationally while also improving infrastructure, Congressman Richard E. Neal introduced H.R. 6206 this week to extend Build America Bonds. Neal will host press availabilities today at two Western Massachusetts locations which benefited from the Build America Bonds program to highlight the local importance of this crucial program. Neal will join Holyoke City Treasurer Jon Lumbra, who is representing Mayor Alex Morse, to speak at Holyoke High School - 500 Beech St - at 1 p.m. and will join Easthampton Mayor Mike Tautznik at Broad Brook Bridge - Hendrick St, Easthampton- at 2 p.m.
"I am calling on my colleagues to extend the Build America Bonds program," said Neal. "The surest way to jumpstart our economy is through investment in our infrastructure. While putting Americans back to work immediately will alleviate much of the economic downturn, we have an opportunity to make long term investments in our future by updating our schools, roads, bridges, and hospitals; today's examples in Holyoke and Easthampton are fitting. Western Massachusetts is prime real estate for expansion and I will keep advocating for our region."
Since its inception in 2009, Build America Bonds have been issued for 2275 projects nationwide, totaling $181 billion of investment- with $5 billion coming to Massachusetts. Locally, Build America Bonds have been used by Baystate Health Systems for a new surgery center in Springfield and at UMASS Amherst for two laboratories and a residence hall. Build America Bonds were an integral part of the Massachusetts School Building Authority's renovation of schools including Holyoke High School, Minnechaug Regional High School, and Putnam Vocational High School. Build America Bonds were also used in conjunction with the Accelerated Bridge Program, which was authorized to repair and rebuild hundreds of structurally deficient bridges across Massachusetts, including Broad Brook Bridge in Easthampton and South End Bridge in Springfield.